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Author Topic: MVS-99-6 - Project on hold until further notice (2014-03-10)  (Read 42532 times)

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Yvan256

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Re: MVS-99-6 [2011-01-14: forget the OLED mini-marquee]
« Reply #200 on: January 17, 2011, 11:58:26 am »
How about placing the minimarquee behind a "smoked" screen? Maybe a piece of "DIY-Car-window-tint-kit" or something similar..?

The main problem is the viewing angle of the LCD display. I can probably control the brightness via PWM.

The ideal solution would be a small color e-ink display. At the size I need, one from a cellphone will probably do the job just fine. All I need is for a company like SparkFun to sell a ready-to-use solution.


shanghaiguide

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Re: MVS-99-6 [2011-01-14: forget the OLED mini-marquee]
« Reply #201 on: March 12, 2011, 06:12:52 am »
Whats the physical size you need?

I can get  spi driven lcd displays for relatively cheap here in China.  
eg

http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=4820742069
http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=3811184896

They use SPI for output, so you'd need to know how to talk to them - Arduino or similar PIC based would be good,and it looks like you have experience with that.

I'm in China, so I can buy, and post if you need...
PM me, and we can talk ;)

« Last Edit: March 12, 2011, 06:14:42 am by shanghaiguide »

Yvan256

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Re: MVS-99-6 [2011-01-14: forget the OLED mini-marquee]
« Reply #202 on: March 12, 2011, 11:25:45 am »
Whats the physical size you need?

I can get  spi driven lcd displays for relatively cheap here in China.  
eg

http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=4820742069
http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=3811184896

They use SPI for output, so you'd need to know how to talk to them - Arduino or similar PIC based would be good,and it looks like you have experience with that.

I'm in China, so I can buy, and post if you need...
PM me, and we can talk ;)



Hi,

thanks for the offer, but as you can see in reply #14 of this thread, I already have a small LCD, bought on eBay (http://www.gravitech.us/13secogrlcd.html).

Unless you're talking about a small, color e-ink display that can be driven by SPI/etc?

Also, if you can find a source for VGA/DVI/HDMI (at least one of those connectors), from 6 to 8 inches, in 4:3 aspect ratio (not 16:9 or 16:10), TFT (not STN), LED-backlit (hopefully) then a lot of people building small-sized cabinets will be interested, that's for sure.

« Last Edit: March 12, 2011, 12:25:29 pm by Yvan256 »

shanghaiguide

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Re: MVS-99-6 [2011-01-14: forget the OLED mini-marquee]
« Reply #203 on: March 12, 2011, 10:12:41 pm »
I've done some work on driving LCD stuff before - mostly  related to projectors (as in building my own).
Most LCD's use LVDS or TTL + an interface board to drive from a VGA source.

LED is more expensive, but only marginally. Non LCD, but cheaper panels will have to be driven with an inverter too so you can light up the fluorescent tube.

So you'd just need to look for a suitable panel for the size you need, and a controller.
Controllers are dirt cheap here though - 20-30rmb for cheap ones, 10-15rmb for lvds cables.
eg
http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=8806496700 / http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=6817300996 / http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=8456636918
http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=6694686250

Example of board+display+cable set = http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=4755654021

Suitable panels with LED - typically around 300rmb ish
LS080HT111
AT080TN42
A080SN01

Just need to download the data sheets, see what they need to drive them, then choose an appropriate board.
Also need to get appropriate cables, and driver board (the above listed should be fine, although need to program them for the LCD panel you'll use).
Suitable programmer for the 乐华 (Le Hua) boards - http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=8480680405

This place has most of whats needed - http://xinyida168.taobao.com/

Possibly cheaper to buy an MP4 player and disassemble though, they're in the same ballpark pricewise as a raw panel.

Eg TenMoon DPF87M
http://www.10moons.net/showpro.asp?SproID=433



Any possibility of getting dimensions of your sides?  I'm contemplating making a small one as I just bought myself a Neo Geo and about 10 games..
« Last Edit: March 12, 2011, 10:20:15 pm by shanghaiguide »

Yvan256

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Re: MVS-99-6 [2011-01-14: forget the OLED mini-marquee]
« Reply #204 on: March 13, 2011, 01:06:55 pm »
Any possibility of getting dimensions of your sides?  I'm contemplating making a small one as I just bought myself a Neo Geo and about 10 games..


One of my posts has a ZIP file which contains four PDF pages that you can print to cut the sides. For the width, just use what is required for the Neo-Geo system.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2011, 01:45:51 pm by Yvan256 »

Yvan256

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Re: MVS-99-6 [2011-08-25: game list]
« Reply #205 on: August 25, 2011, 02:56:49 pm »
Hello everyone,

sorry to resurrect an old thread on a project that's on stand-by, but since I'm building a CNC to help me with these other projects, I've started thinking about them again.

For MVS99-6, I need a list of 99 games, both arcade and Neo-Geo MVS. I don't have any particular arcade vs MVS ratio in mind, so here's my list so far:

Arcade
- A.L.C.O.N. (aka Slap Fight)
- Asteroids
- Bagman
- Black Tiger
- Bomb Jack
- Bubble Bobble
- Bump N Jump
- BurgerTime
- Contra
- Defender
- Dig Dug
- Donkey Kong
- Donkey Kong Jr.
- Frogger
- Galaga
- Galaxian
- Ghost 'n Boblins
- Golden Axe
- Gradius
- Gunsmoke
- Joust
- Lady Bug
- Life Force
- Mario Bros.
- Moon Patrol
- Mortal Kombat
- Mr. Do!
- Mr. Do!'s Castle
- Ms. Pac-Man
- Pac-Man
- Popeye
- Punch-Out!!
- Q*bert
- Qix
- Rally-X
- Rampage
- Rastan
- Robotron: 2084
- R-Type
- Rygar
- Snow Bros
- Space Invaders
- Super Cobra
- Terra Cresta
- Time Pilot
- Tutankham
- Twin Cobra
- Xevious
- Zaxxon



MVS
- Art of Fighting
- Fatal Fury
- King of Fighters
- Blazing Star
- Crossed Swords
- Metal Slug
- Pulstar
- Magical Drop
- Puzzle Bobble
- Samurai Shodown
- Waku Waku 7

Of course, some fighting games have dozens if not hundreds of sequels and variations, so I'm not listing them. I'm not a fan of Street Fighter, for example.

My question is, from all the "historic/classic" arcade games (2D-only, ROM only, joystick-only, i.e. no Hard drive, Laserdisc, trackball, spinner, driving wheel or yoke) , which ones do you think I'm missing on my list?
« Last Edit: August 25, 2011, 02:59:51 pm by Yvan256 »

Nephasth

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Re: MVS-99-6 [2011-08-25: game list]
« Reply #206 on: August 25, 2011, 03:09:10 pm »
Gorf and Satan's Hollow. Love those games!

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Re: MVS-99-6 [2011-08-25: game list]
« Reply #207 on: August 25, 2011, 04:08:34 pm »
I'm listing horizontal games only here:

1000 Miglia: Great 1000 Miles Rally
Cabal
Chelnov
Elevator Action Returns
Get Star
Great Miglia Rally
Gunforce
Gunforce 2
Indiana Jones
New Zealand Story
P-47
Pang
Penguin Kun-Wars
Progear
Rastan
Rolling Thunder
Psyco-Nics O.S.C.A.R.
Shinobi
Silk Worm
Solomon's Key
Strikers 1945+
Toki
Twinkle Star Sprites
Thrash Rally

javeryh

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Re: MVS-99-6 [2011-08-25: game list]
« Reply #208 on: August 25, 2011, 05:10:11 pm »
There are tons missing!  Off the top of my head...

Juno First
Jungle King
Pac & Pal
Tapper
Super Pac-man
Jr. Pac-man
Zookeeper
1942/43/44
Tetris

There are lots of other but I'll let other people chime in.

Yvan256

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MVS-99-6 [2011-09-05: Some marquees completed]
« Reply #209 on: September 05, 2011, 02:57:20 pm »
Here's the artwork that I've done so far. The task is long, I have to search for good quality artwork (good color, contrast, not cropped, etc) then reduce it for the small 132x132 pixels LCD used for the MVS mini-marquee.

Arcade marquees are 132 pixels wide and the height respects the aspect ratio of the marquee, so it varies quite a bit. They will have the rest of the LCD filled with black or white (or some other color if it fits the design, such as Bubble Bobble).

The Neo-Geo MVS marquees are 108x132 pixels, since all mini-marquees have a fixed aspect ratio. The left and right will be filled with black or white, depending on what looks best on the real LCD with the white border printed on the whole marquee. I'm having a hard time finding 50 Neo-Geo MVS games that I really like to play, and I'm also having a hard time limiting myself to 49 classic non-MVS games. It the end it could be 75 arcade+24 MVS games, as long as the total is 99 I don't really care.  ;)

Warning for users with slow connections: the first full-size graphic is 786 KB, second one is 102 KB.

Note: I'm already planning a future version of this machine, with of those ultra-wide sunshade LCD displays (most are 800x256 but I've seen one which was 1024x320), so that arcade marquees will look better (horizontal, no printed Neo-Geo marquee around it) and the MVS marquees will be inserted into the generic 1-cart Neo-Geo marquee (see second graphic). With an 800x256 pixels LCD, the MVS mini-marquees would also be 160x192 pixels, which is still a bit bigger than 110x132.


« Last Edit: September 25, 2011, 08:31:12 pm by Yvan256 »

Yvan256

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MVS-99-6 [2011-09-09: Graphic glitch - Marquees redone]
« Reply #210 on: September 09, 2011, 07:45:39 pm »
The more I looked at the marquees and the more I had a weird feeling about it. Something just wasn't right.

It's like all the marquees had a faint white bezel around them for some reason... Turns out, there's a bug or a limitation in the bicubic resizing method of the software I'm using.

You can see the bug in the first extremely zoomed screenshot. There is transparency in the last pixels around the image (since those zoomed screenshots are cropped, it's only in the last row and column of pixels). The solution was easy: I simply copied the image four times on four layers and merged them all. No more alpha, problem fixed.

It was a bit annoying to have to re-do all the marquees, however. I'm not even finished with the Neo-Geo mini-marquees in that updated grid but all the other non-MVS marquees are fixed.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2011, 07:53:55 pm by Yvan256 »

Nephasth

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Re: MVS-99-6 [2011-09-09: Graphic glitch - Marquees redone]
« Reply #211 on: September 17, 2011, 09:25:24 am »
Have you started on your monitor rotation on this?

Yvan256

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Re: MVS-99-6 [2011-09-09: Graphic glitch - Marquees redone]
« Reply #212 on: September 17, 2011, 09:50:07 am »
Have you started on your monitor rotation on this?

No, for now I'm concentrating on completing the mini-marquee LCD display, including images and the microcontroller code. I'm also planning on trying to read the graphic files from an SD card to make it easier to update them.

I'll probably have to add some code to MAME but I plan to make that addition quite generic by sending the game name to a serial port.

That way, any external peripheral only has to get the game name and act accordingly with data from an internal list of games for their own use:
- screen orientation
- dynamic marquee display
- RGB lighted buttons to fit the original machine scheme
- 8/4/2-way electronic/mechanical joystick restrictor to fit the game

An example would be MAME sending "rygar" on the serial port:
- an arcade cabinet with an automatic screen rotation mechanism would set the display horizontally.
- an arcade cabinet with a dynamic marquee would display the Rygar marquee.
- an arcade cabinet with lighted buttons would only light up the first two buttons (first button red, second button blue - or was it yellow?).
- an arcade cabinet with a dynamic joystick would put the restrictor in 8-way mode.

Of course, each peripheral would need its own internal storage, but IMHO it makes the whole thing easier overall, especially for the marquee. A standard XML database could be kept so that global data is kept for each kind of module, people could start from the XML and write their custom data to their own hardware as needed.

Unless of course someone can tell me that such an extension to MAME already exists?

After reading what I just wrote, I think I'm going to make a custom restrictor plate for my Sanwa joystick, for no special reason...

Yes, I'm thinking of adding an automatic 4/8-way restrictor plate and I already know how I'm going to implement it. It won't take much room either and will be 100% stable and reliable even when powered off. Small question... does anyone know of a game list where the restrictors are also listed? Which games required a vertical 2-way setup?

« Last Edit: September 17, 2011, 12:03:34 pm by Yvan256 »

Yvan256

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Re: MVS-99-6 [2011-09-09: Graphic glitch - Marquees redone]
« Reply #213 on: September 17, 2011, 10:12:58 am »
(reply to Unstupid's comment from his bartop Neo-Geo cab thread)
You know when I first read your post I just thought you were a NeoGeo fan... I didn't realize you were currently in the process of building your own mini NeoGeo cab!  I just read through your entire project thread!  What you are doing with the 7 segment credit counter and the LCD marquee is awesome!  I'm definitely going to follow your build because I want to see how that turns out!  I noticed that you have a working coin slot.  Mind if I ask what kind of coin slot you are using?  I can't find a working one that fits my design and my cab is twice the size of yours!

BTW I though my build was going to be a "long process" because I'm expecting it to take a couple of months.... You are going on a couple of years!  That is hardcore!   :notworthy:

Thanks for the comment!

Ah, the coin mech... as you say, my cabinet is so small that it has to be a custom home-made one. I'm also not going to make it really complex, it's going to accept anything round and heavy, i.e. a so-called universal coin mech, though I'm not sure if people from Alpha Centauri still use flat metal discs as currency. ;)

I'm planning to put the coin slot+path on the right of the marquee engraved as a path in the thickness of the right panel itself with a switch and coin box at the back/bottom right inside the cabinet. Since the back panel is hinged, I will have easy access to the tokens from there. I just have to enclose the whole coin path and box to be 100% sure that a coin won't be able to fall onto anything electrical inside.  :o

The delay is mostly due to the fact that I'm not 100% happy with the precision of the panels so far, especially the sides. That's why I started to build my own CNC mill. And now with my dynamic joystick idea, that's yet another delay, though I'm sure I probably already have almost all the parts for that one. I just need to fit them together.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2011, 07:34:49 pm by Yvan256 »

Vidiot

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Re: MVS-99-6 [2011-09-09: Graphic glitch - Marquees redone]
« Reply #214 on: September 17, 2011, 12:49:19 pm »
I was gonna suggest using one of those visor monitors from eBay for a marquee then I saw where you already had that idea.  :-[
That would be awesome though. I hope to try something like that in the future.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2011, 12:55:28 pm by Vidiot »


Unstupid

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Re: MVS-99-6 [2011-09-09: Graphic glitch - Marquees redone]
« Reply #215 on: September 17, 2011, 02:28:45 pm »

Thanks for the comment!

Ah, the coin mech... as you say, my cabinet is so small that it has to be a custom home-made one. I'm also not going to make it really complex, it's going to accept anything round and heavy, i.e. a so-called universal coin mech, though I'm not sure if people from Alpha Centauri still use flat metal discs as currency. ;)

I'm planning to put the coin slot+path on the right of the marquee engraved as a path in the thickness of the right panel itself with a switch and coin box at the back/bottom right inside the cabinet. Since the back panel is hinged, I will have easy access to the tokens from there. I just have to enclose the whole coin path and box to be 100% sure that a coin won't be able to fall onto anything electrical inside.  :o

The delay is mostly due to the fact that I'm not 100% happy with the precision of the panels so far, especially the sides. That's why I started to build my own CNC mill. And now with my dynamic joystick idea, that's yet another delay, though I'm sure I probably already have almost all the parts for that one. I just need to fit them together.

You will need to elaborate on the "dynamic joystick idea"!

On another note if you'd like I can cut your panels for you if it will help you get back on track!  I have a router  :D

Yvan256

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Re: MVS-99-6 [2011-09-09: Graphic glitch - Marquees redone]
« Reply #216 on: September 17, 2011, 02:46:02 pm »
You will need to elaborate on the "dynamic joystick idea"!

On another note if you'd like I can cut your panels for you if it will help you get back on track!  I have a router  :D

Dynamic joystick = automatic restrictor. I can't find the link, but I saw someone who did something similar with an actuator (I think). I'm planning on going with a sliding restrictor similar to those use on the Seimitsu joysticks. Powered by a small DC motor, a threaded rod and some switches to detect the position, all under the control of a small ATtiny85. Just tell the microcontroller what type of joystick you want and it'll push/pull the restrictor plate in the right position.

When you say router, do you mean a full CNC milling table?
« Last Edit: September 17, 2011, 02:50:03 pm by Yvan256 »

Unstupid

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Re: MVS-99-6 [2011-09-09: Graphic glitch - Marquees redone]
« Reply #217 on: September 17, 2011, 03:31:03 pm »
When you say router, do you mean a full CNC milling table?

Yea... Something like that!  I have access to (infact I'm the sole operator) a Thermwood Model-90 5 axis router.  It has a 5'x10' cutting area and a 3' z axis stroke.  It also has a vacuum table with a 15hp pump that would suck the green off a dollar bill.  We only use it maybe 20 days a year, so the rest of the time she is all mine!  I only have one video of her in action.  I dont have any videos of her cutting but If you look up on YouTube "drawing straight lines on a curved surface" you can see her when I used it to stripe a boat hull with a sharpie.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2011, 01:44:49 am by Unstupid »

Yvan256

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Re: MVS-99-6 [2011-09-09: Graphic glitch - Marquees redone]
« Reply #218 on: September 18, 2011, 02:00:32 pm »
When you say router, do you mean a full CNC milling table?

Yea... Something like that!  I have access to (infact I'm the sole operator) a Thermwood Model-90 5 axis router.  It has a 5'x10' cutting area and a 3' z axis stroke.  It also has a vacuum table with a 15hp pump that would suck the green off a dollar bill.  We only use it maybe 20 days a year, so the rest of the time she is all mine!  I only have one video of her in action.  I dont have any videos of her cutting but If you look up on YouTube "drawing straight lines on a curved surface" you can see her when I used it to stripe a boat hull with a sharpie.

I just watched a few videos of Thermwood machines in action.  8)

However, one of the reasons I'm building my own CNC machine is so that I can work on my projects by myself, learning things as I go. Thank you for the kind offer but in any case I wouldn't be able to afford the cost of the panels + machining + shipping.

Even if we skip the machining cost, the shipping alone would be more than I can pay, especially if you're in the USA. UPS and FedEx add expensive brokerage fees, on top of the shipping cost and the customs fees and taxes. Even if you're willing to make and ship all of this for free, I would still end up paying anywhere from 20 to 50$.  :P

So the question is... are you located in Canada?
« Last Edit: September 18, 2011, 02:10:14 pm by Yvan256 »

Unstupid

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Re: MVS-99-6 [2011-09-09: Graphic glitch - Marquees redone]
« Reply #219 on: September 18, 2011, 02:53:59 pm »

I just watched a few videos of Thermwood machines in action.  8)

However, one of the reasons I'm building my own CNC machine is so that I can work on my projects by myself, learning things as I go. Thank you for the kind offer but in any case I wouldn't be able to afford the cost of the panels + machining + shipping.

Even if we skip the machining cost, the shipping alone would be more than I can pay, especially if you're in the USA. UPS and FedEx add expensive brokerage fees, on top of the shipping cost and the customs fees and taxes. Even if you're willing to make and ship all of this for free, I would still end up paying anywhere from 20 to 50$.  :P

So the question is... are you located in Canada?
Nope not in Canada, Hawaii... Didn't realize they charge all kinds of brokerage fees going into canada...  It must be expensive to live there!

Yvan256

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Re: MVS-99-6 [2011-09-09: Graphic glitch - Marquees redone]
« Reply #220 on: September 18, 2011, 04:44:59 pm »
Nope not in Canada, Hawaii... Didn't realize they charge all kinds of brokerage fees going into canada...  It must be expensive to live there!

It's no more expensive than living in the USA, but only if you don't order things from the USA all the time.  ;)

Actually, I know a lot of Americans don't like the USPS, but here in Canada we much prefer to use Canada Post. It's usually from 20 to 50% cheaper and there's no rip-off on the charges. Their Xpress services are quite fast, too.

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Re: MVS-99-6 [2011-09-09: Graphic glitch - Marquees redone]
« Reply #221 on: September 18, 2011, 06:35:56 pm »
It's no more expensive than living in the USA, but only if you don't order things from the USA all the time.  ;)

Or drive much, those gas prices hurt just looking at them. Ouch.

Yvan256

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Re: MVS-99-6 [2011-08-25: game list]
« Reply #222 on: September 19, 2011, 10:06:04 pm »
There are tons missing!  Off the top of my head...

Juno First
Jungle King
Pac & Pal
Tapper
Super Pac-man
Jr. Pac-man
Zookeeper
1942/43/44
Tetris

There are lots of other but I'll let other people chime in.

I'm slowing going through some lists, including those you guys listed here. I stumbled upon an old detail I had completely forgotten...

Are you talking about Root Beer Tapper or the Budweiser-branded Tapper? Which one is the original and/or was the most popular/common?

edit: never mind, a quick search told me the original was the Budweiser-themed Tapper and Root Beer Tapper was created for the benefit of concerned parents.  :cheers: (the cheers should be in a sarcasm tag)

edit #2: also removed Robotron: 2084 from my list since it requires two joysticks.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2011, 02:13:46 pm by Yvan256 »

Yvan256

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Re: MVS-99-6 [2011-09-23: Question about Punch-Out!!]
« Reply #223 on: September 23, 2011, 03:10:22 pm »
Dumb question about Punch-Out!!

Can this game be used on a single-monitor system? Even if using split screen on a vertical monitor I don't think the aspect ratio is going to be correct.  ???

Nephasth

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Re: MVS-99-6 [2011-09-23: Question about Punch-Out!!]
« Reply #224 on: September 23, 2011, 03:21:34 pm »
From Malenko's 32" vertical cab he had:

Thanks to Cheffo, I had to see how well punch out looked, 2 monitor outputs spanned across a 32" vertical monitor dont look too bad!







Also works pretty good with Playchoice 10:


Might not be perfect, but I don't think it looks bad at all. Tough to say how it would look on a small screen.

yotsuya

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Re: MVS-99-6 [2011-09-23: Question about Punch-Out!!]
« Reply #225 on: September 23, 2011, 03:27:59 pm »
I play it on my 19 inch horizontal LCD with no issues.
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Yvan256

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Re: MVS-99-6 [2011-09-23: Question about Punch-Out!!]
« Reply #226 on: September 23, 2011, 03:34:01 pm »
From Malenko's 32" vertical cab he had:

...

Might not be perfect, but I don't think it looks bad at all. Tough to say how it would look on a small screen.

His monitor is widescreen, however. Mine is indeed already very small, low resolution and has a 4:3 aspect ratio. I guess I'll have to try before dismissing it completely. Was Punch-Out!! a PlayChoice-10 title or was it a dedicated motherboard?

I already had to filter out all the spinner, trackball, racing and dual-stick games... would be a shame to drop Punch-Out!! too.

I play it on my 19 inch horizontal LCD with no issues.

My display is an old Sharp LQ064A5CG01. It's a 6.4" TFT LCD with a resolution of 480x234 and a composite video input only.

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Re: MVS-99-6 [2011-09-23: Question about Punch-Out!!]
« Reply #227 on: September 23, 2011, 03:39:05 pm »
His monitor is widescreen, however.

It was a 4:3 32" TV mounted vertically.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2011, 03:43:21 pm by Nephasth »

Yvan256

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Re: MVS-99-6 [2011-09-23: Question about Punch-Out!!]
« Reply #228 on: September 23, 2011, 04:54:11 pm »
His monitor is widescreen, however.

It was a 4:3 32" TV mounted vertically.

Wow, you're right. It's weird but it seemed widescreen to me.  :-[

I guess there's still hope for Punch-Out!! on my small cabinet then. It's not like you need incredibly high resolution to play that game, there's no 2x2 pixels bullets to dodge or anything. The only two characters take nearly 33% of the screen.  ;D

edit: (see attached picture)

I guess it's going to be okay for Punch-Out!! after all (it's a simulated picture, the screen capture from Wikimedia resized to 234x320).
« Last Edit: July 18, 2013, 08:31:26 am by Yvan256 »

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Re: MVS-99-6 [2011-09-26: Small update with the LCD mini-marquee]
« Reply #229 on: September 26, 2011, 07:30:19 pm »
I'm sorry for everyone who's following this thread. Slow doesn't even begin to describe it. However, there is so many parts involved that I hope you understand.

Here's a small update about the LCD mini-marquee. Since the last update I've decided to go with an SD card instead of two 8-pin DIP flash memory ICs.

Apart from the computer, the LCD mini-marquee display will be the most complex part of this cabinet.
List of parts required for the marquee display controller:
  • Microcontroller: Atmel ATtiny861 (8-bit, 20MHz, 8192 bytes of code space)
  • Small color display: ET-LCD6610 (132x132 pixels, 4096 colors)
  • SD Card socket: SparkFun (BOB-00204)
  • Serial port level converter: MAX232 (don't have one, will need to order it)

I'm also using the AVR Programming Adapter from SparkFun (BOB-08508) but this will be part of the custom PCB I'll be making.

Why so many parts? Well, here is a list of all the things this module must do:
  • Communicate with the computer to know which marquee to display. I will have to add something to either the front-end or to MAME. Ex: I select Black Tiger. The front-end needs to send "blktiger" via the serial port to the marquee display microcontroller.
  • Convert voltage levels between the computer and the microcontroller (MAX232)
  • Access the graphic files on the SD card (SD Card socket + software I'm writing for the ATtiny861)
  • Output the graphic data to the LCD display (again, my own software that's going to reside in the ATtiny861)

At last count the ATtiny861 had enough I/O pins to do all of this.

To simplify the graphics decoding and SD card reading parts of the project I will only support very specific, erm, specifications:
  • I didn't want to mess around with saving raw data files and I wanted something supported under Mac OS X's Preview program. So my choice ended up with uncompressed TIFF files. I don't need to write specifications-compliant TIFF decoding routines since I know where the graphic data is located inside my files. Another reason to use TIFF is because I didn't want to use Microsoft's BMP format.  ;)
  • FAT16: I don't need to support FAT32 and long filenames. MAME ROM filenames are "8.3" and FAT16 allows up to 2GiB partitions. The marquees are 132x132 pixels in 24-bit color (RGB), so 132x132x3 equals 52272 bytes. The files as written by Preview end up at 52494 bytes because of the TIFF header and other various data. And 52494 bytes multiplied by 99 games equals ~4.96 MiB (5196906 bytes) so the 2GiB maximum of FAT16 is more than enough. An old 32MB SD Card would still have been overkill but unfortunately the only spare SD card I have for this project is 1GB.

And since I know you all like drawings, pictures and photos when reading about an update, here it is (and yes, only the AVR Programming Adapter is wired up so far, the spaghetti-like wire mess will come soon enough):



Going clockwise, on the outside, starting from the LCD:
  • LCD, of course
  • SD card socket
  • AVR Programming Adapter
  • Atmel ATtiny861 (20-pins IC in the middle)

I'll probably start with outputting pixels on the display by embedding a tiny graphic directly inside the code of a test program.

The "MVS Neo-Geo" mini-marquee with a white background can be cropped as two graphics on an all-white background. Using the 108x132 graphic I've already done, it seems it would require 80x28 pixels for the top "MVS Multi-Video System" part and 65x64 pixels for the yellow/blue "Neo-Geo" part. Reducing to 256 colors doesn't do much impact to the quality, so (80x28)+(65x64) = 6400 bytes, leaving only 1792 bytes for the test program itself. If it fits, there won't be much room left.  :o

Worst case scenario, I'll only use the yellow/blue "Neo-Geo" part of the graphic for the test. Stay tuned.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2011, 10:24:48 pm by Yvan256 »

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MVS-99-6 [2011-09-28: Another update with the LCD mini-marquee]
« Reply #230 on: September 28, 2011, 01:31:49 am »
I found a problem with the way I wanted to install my LCD mini-marquee... installed sideways, you can barely see what's displayed because it looks all washed-out. The viewing angles weren't designed for that orientation.  :'(

So my only hope was to try and install it vertically, but would I even have enough space to do that? The PCB of the LCD is much taller than the LCD itself and it just wouldn't fit between the top and bottom panels of the marquee holder.

But it does fit in the overall height, if I cut the top panel...

After about 2 hours of cutting away the MDF with a small utility knife*, I was finally able to install the LCD vertically. The hole at the top will be hidden by the marquee holder. My cutout is mis-shaped because I had to clear room for two surface-mount components on the back of the PCB.

I also tried to take a photo of the LCD, once again displaying the Rygar marquee, but it's nearly impossible because the backlight seems to overpower the camera.

* no fingers were cut during the production of this update.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2011, 02:17:11 pm by Yvan256 »

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Re: MVS-99-6 [2011-09-28: Another update with the LCD mini-marquee]
« Reply #231 on: September 28, 2011, 01:39:02 pm »
Two updates and over 400 additional views later and still no comments?  ???

I know I'm not as good as Ond, Pixelhugger and others, but... I like comments too!
« Last Edit: September 30, 2011, 10:25:37 am by Yvan256 »

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Re: MVS-99-6 [2011-09-28: Another update with the LCD mini-marquee]
« Reply #232 on: September 28, 2011, 02:04:59 pm »
After about 2 hours of cutting away the MDF with a small utility knife*, I was finally able to install the LCD vertically. The hole at the top will be hidden by the marquee holder. My cutout is mis-shaped because I had to clear room for two surface-mount components on the back of the PCB.

* no fingers were cut during the production of this update.

You're a better man than I am!
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Re: MVS-99-6 [2011-09-28: Another update with the LCD mini-marquee]
« Reply #233 on: September 28, 2011, 02:22:20 pm »
it looks really good. I was kinda shocked to see my old MAME cab in your thread. Wait until you see what Im working on now.  I'm pretty sure my niche is going to be putting giant CRTs in cabinets that they shouldn't fit in.


I love NeoGeo ( i miss my neogeo cabs) and now thanks to your thread I miss my MAME cab too :p
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Re: MVS-99-6 [2011-09-28: Another update with the LCD mini-marquee]
« Reply #234 on: September 28, 2011, 02:29:26 pm »
Wait until you see what Im working on now.  I'm pretty sure my niche is going to be putting giant CRTs in cabinets that they shouldn't fit in.

 >:D  Ooh Ooh!  I know <raises hand>

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Re: MVS-99-6 [2011-09-28: Another update with the LCD mini-marquee]
« Reply #235 on: September 28, 2011, 06:52:24 pm »
Very cool.  ;D

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Re: MVS-99-6 [2011-09-28: Another update with the LCD mini-marquee]
« Reply #236 on: September 28, 2011, 07:02:23 pm »
Two updates and over 400 additional views later and still no comments?  ???

I know I'm not as good as Ond, Pixelhugger and others, but... I like comments too. :'(

It's looking great man I do love the idea of the screen in the marquee I always thought of 7" Digital photo frames on a fullsized neogeo cab just changing pictures would be cool.

I need to see the whole cab in action to see the lcd in use as currently cause it's close up it looks a tad small and i can't get a feel for the size of the lcd with the whole of the cab but still fantastic work :) can't wait to see more

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Re: MVS-99-6 [2011-09-28: Another update with the LCD mini-marquee]
« Reply #237 on: September 28, 2011, 08:00:47 pm »
It's looking great man I do love the idea of the screen in the marquee I always thought of 7" Digital photo frames on a fullsized neogeo cab just changing pictures would be cool.

I need to see the whole cab in action to see the lcd in use as currently cause it's close up it looks a tad small and i can't get a feel for the size of the lcd with the whole of the cab but still fantastic work :) can't wait to see more

I remember seeing a Neo-Geo cabinet with exactly that, but I think it was semi-fixed marquee that the guy had to change manually by pressing a button or something. My LCD will change automatically, even within the menu system.

As for an idea of the overall size, you can see it in this post. It's only a Sketchup render but it should give you a good idea of the LCD/marquee ratio. The idea is that the LCD replaces the Neo-Geo mini-marquee, except that it's square instead of a vertical rectangle.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2011, 09:52:26 pm by Yvan256 »

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MVS-99-6 [2011-09-29: Yet another update with the LCD mini-marquee]
« Reply #238 on: September 29, 2011, 11:44:26 pm »
Oh boy, I knew I should have tested this earlier. After all the trouble communicating with that small LCD and the viewing angle problem that required a modification to the top marquee panel...

The datasheet says 132x132 pixels but after a quick test I just found out that only 130x130 pixels are visible. :cry:

This means I have to start over on all the marquee graphics. As small as they are, I can't just cut off 1 pixel on each side.

Oh well, here's two photos of my test grid, I left a border of one pixel before my lines to make sure I could see the top, bottom, left and rightmost rows/columns of pixels. I also tested by moving these borders by one pixel and they are indeed the last visible ones. I don't want to remake those marquees a third time.  ::)

It seems I also finally learned how to take photos of this LCD. Just make it a close-up so that the camera will use the LCD as the light source for the calibration! (or whatever it's called - sorry, I'm not a professional photographer)

Also included is the Neo-Geo logo, displayed improperly due to the fact that I'm still trying to set that stupid LCD in 4096 colors mode. But hey, at least it's already half-working, right?
« Last Edit: September 30, 2011, 01:44:47 pm by Yvan256 »

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MVS-99-6 [2011-10-01: New LCD for the mini-marquee]
« Reply #239 on: October 01, 2011, 02:47:56 pm »
Two steps forward, one step back...

I found another LCD which should have much better colors, larger viewing angles and also nearly perfectly fits the aspect ratio of a Neo-Geo mini marquee. The worst part is, I paid more for my current LCD. So my current LCD will go back on eBay to fund the purchase of this new LCD.

I just did a paper-printed test with this LCD with the datasheets and yes it does fit in my cabinet. That is, once I have made another hole in the MDF, this time in the bottom panel of the marquee holder.

So instead of going with 130x130 for the marquees graphics I will do 128x160. The good thing is that, worst case scenario, I will still be able to use the horizontal graphics for the current LCD display if I can't find a buyer for it.

With the new LCD the marquee area of my cabinet will have a vertical mini-marquee like a real Neo-Geo cabinet, goodbye square LCD!  :cheers:

Other bonuses with this PCB:
- the command/data is a separate pin, so I will be able to use the native SPI interface of the ATtiny861 (easier and faster)
- built-in microSD card connector
- Both the LCD and microSD talk via SPI and there is a "chip select" pin for both, reducing the number of pins required on the ATtiny861

("Photoshopped" Samurai Shodown photo on the LCD)

  
 

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